Dual Propulsion Patents (Class 244/12.3)
  • Patent number: 10633101
    Abstract: In order to further benefit from the principle of boundary layer ingestion by engines of an aircraft assembly, the rear portion of the fuselage of this aircraft assembly includes a front portion which splits up into at least two distinct rear portions, spaced apart from each other, and each integrating the rotary ring of the receiver of one of the engines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2020
    Assignee: AIRBUS OPERATIONS SAS
    Inventors: Camil Negulescu, Jean-Michel Rogero, Renaud Faure
  • Patent number: 10562611
    Abstract: According to a first aspect of the invention, there is provided a method for operating a multicopter experiencing a failure during flight, the multicopter comprising a body, and at least four effectors attached to the body, each operable to produce both a torque and a thrust force which can cause the multicopter to fly when not experiencing said failure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 2019
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2020
    Assignee: ETH Zurich
    Inventors: Mark W. Mueller, Sergei Lupashin, Raffaello D'Andrea, Markus Waibel
  • Patent number: 10377465
    Abstract: The present invention is a variable geometry aircraft that is capable of morphing its shape from a symmetric cross-section buoyant craft to an asymmetric lifting body and even to a symmetric zero lift configuration. The basic structure is a semi rigid airship with movable longerons. Movement of the longerons adjusts the camber of the upper and/or lower surfaces to achieve varying shapes of the lifting-body. This transformation changes both the lift and drag characteristics of the craft to alter the flight characteristics. The transformation may be accomplished while the craft is airborne and does not require any ground support equipment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2019
    Assignee: Hyalta Aeronautics, Inc.
    Inventor: Scott R. Kempshall
  • Patent number: 10358214
    Abstract: An aerial vehicle, preferably including: a rotary wing and a protection housing enclosing the rotary wing. An aerial vehicle, preferably including: a first rotary wing module including a first rotary wing and a second rotary wing module including a second rotary wing, wherein the first rotary wing module and the second rotary wing module are preferably operable between a folded configuration and an unfolded configuration. A method of aerial vehicle operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2019
    Assignee: Hangzhou Zero Zro Technology Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Tong Zhang, Mengqiu Wang, Zhaozhe Wang, Xuyang Zhang, Guanqun Zhang, Shuang Gong, Yalin Zhang, Jinglong Wang, Lixin Liu
  • Patent number: 10336443
    Abstract: In one embodiment, an apparatus comprises a shaft, a rotor, and a cam surface. The shaft comprises a spiral spline along a length of the shaft. The rotor comprises a blade extending from the rotor and a tubular hole extending into the rotor. The tubular hole comprises a spiral groove configured to mate with the spiral spline on the shaft. Relative rotation between the spiral spline and the spiral groove causes the rotor to linearly move along the shaft. The cam surface comprising a recession. The blade nesting in the recession to constrains rotation of the rotor about the shaft and allows linear movement of the rotor along the shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2019
    Assignee: BELL HELICOPTER TEXTRON INC.
    Inventors: Matthew E. Louis, Michael John Ryan, Daniel B. Robertson, Frank B. Stamps
  • Patent number: 10322799
    Abstract: In some embodiments, a pod assembly transportation system includes a transportation services provider computing system and a plurality of flying frame flight control systems, wherein the system is configured to receive, at the transportation services provider computing system, a request for transportation of a pod assembly; upload a flight plan to a flight control system of a flying frame including an airframe and a distributed propulsion system coupled to airframe; dispatch the flying frame by air to the current location of the pod assembly; couple the pod assembly to the flying frame; transport the pod assembly by air from the current location of the pod assembly to the destination of the pod assembly including transitioning the flying frame between a vertical takeoff and landing mode and a forward flight mode; and decouple the pod assembly from the flying frame at the destination of the pod assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2019
    Assignee: Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.
    Inventors: John Richard McCullough, Paul K. Oldroyd
  • Patent number: 10308349
    Abstract: According to a first aspect of the invention, there is provided a method for operating a multicopter experiencing a failure during flight, the multicopter comprising a body, and at least four effectors attached to the body, each operable to produce both a torque and a thrust force which can cause the multicopter to fly when not experiencing said failure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2019
    Assignee: ETH Zurich
    Inventors: Mark W. Mueller, Sergei Lupashin, Raffaello D'Andrea, Markus Waibel
  • Patent number: 10246184
    Abstract: A VTOL aircraft, preferably of the swept wing design. An arrangement of propellors and motors are individually housed within ducts which are mounted within a wing. Each individual motor support arm will run from the motor it is supporting, through the duct wall and into the wing and will be attached to a central frame structure housed in the fuselage. Covers are provided over the ducts, operable by motor means such as a servo. When the aircraft is relying on the internally housed propellors to provide lift, the covers will be open to allow air to pass through the ducts. When the aircraft is relying on airflow over the wings to provide lift these covers can be closed to provide uninterrupted airflow over the wings. The covers are designed to match the surface contour of the wing when closed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2019
    Inventor: Jon M. Ragland
  • Patent number: 10167080
    Abstract: A tiltrotor aircraft having a VTOL flight mode, a forward flight mode and a storage mode includes a fuselage having a wing rotatably mounted thereto. The wing has an orientation generally perpendicular to the fuselage, in the flight modes, and an orientation generally parallel to the fuselage, in the storage mode. First and second pylon assemblies are positioned proximate outboard ends of the wing. First and second mast assemblies are respectively rotatable relative to the first and second pylon assemblies and have generally vertical orientations, in the VTOL flight mode, and generally horizontal orientations, in the forward flight mode and the storage mode. First and second proprotor assemblies are respectively rotatable relative to the first and second mast assemblies. Each proprotor assembly includes a plurality of rotor blades and has a radially extended orientation, in the flight modes, and a stowed orientation, in the storage mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2019
    Assignee: Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.
    Inventor: Christopher Edward Foskey
  • Patent number: 10160534
    Abstract: A lever outputs a first signal level where the first signal level is based at least in part on the position of the lever and the first signal level is used to control a first set of rotors associated with a vertical propulsion system. A thumb controller (coupled to the vertical thrust lever) outputs a second signal level where the second signal level is based at least in part on the position of the thumb controller, the second signal level is used to control a second set of rotors associated with a horizontal propulsion system, and the thumb controller includes a detent associated with a recommended sustained maximum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2018
    Assignee: Kitty Hawk Corporation
    Inventors: Sheldon Wong, William C. Shoemaker
  • Patent number: 10162367
    Abstract: An unmanned aircraft includes a forward propulsion system comprising one or more forward thrust engines and one or more corresponding rotors coupled to the forward thrust engines; a vertical propulsion system comprising one or more vertical thrust engines and one or more corresponding rotors coupled to the vertical thrust engines; and a pitch angle and throttle control system, comprising a processor configured to receive a first pitch angle command; and generate a second pitch angle command and a forward thrust engine throttle command based on a bounded pitch angle for the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2018
    Assignee: Latitude Engineering, LLC
    Inventors: Jason Michael K. Douglas, Justin Armer, Carlos Murphy
  • Patent number: 10086936
    Abstract: A tiltrotor aircraft having a VTOL flight mode, a forward flight mode and a storage mode includes a fuselage having a wing rotatably mounted thereto. The wing has an orientation generally perpendicular to the fuselage, in the flight modes, and an orientation generally parallel to the fuselage, in the storage mode. First and second pylon assemblies are positioned proximate outboard ends of the wing. First and second mast assemblies are respectively rotatable relative to the first and second pylon assemblies and have generally vertical orientations, in the VTOL flight mode, and generally horizontal orientations, in the forward flight mode and the storage mode. First and second proprotor assemblies are respectively rotatable relative to the first and second mast assemblies. Each proprotor assembly includes a plurality of rotor blades and has a radially extended orientation, in the flight modes, and a stowed orientation, in the storage mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2018
    Assignee: Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.
    Inventor: Christopher Edward Foskey
  • Patent number: 10077106
    Abstract: A tiltrotor aircraft having a VTOL flight mode, a forward flight mode and a storage mode includes a fuselage having a wing rotatably mounted thereto. The wing has an orientation generally perpendicular to the fuselage, in the flight modes, and an orientation generally parallel to the fuselage, in the storage mode. First and second pylon assemblies are positioned proximate outboard ends of the wing. First and second mast assemblies are respectively rotatable relative to the first and second pylon assemblies and have generally vertical orientations, in the VTOL flight mode, and generally horizontal orientations, in the forward flight mode and the storage mode. First and second proprotor assemblies are respectively rotatable relative to the first and second mast assemblies. Each proprotor assembly includes a plurality of rotor blades and has a radially extended orientation, in the flight modes, and a stowed orientation, in the storage mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2018
    Assignee: Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.
    Inventor: Christopher Edward Foskey
  • Patent number: 10065736
    Abstract: A tiltrotor aircraft having a VTOL flight mode, a forward flight mode and a storage mode includes a fuselage having a wing rotatably mounted thereto. The wing has an orientation generally perpendicular to the fuselage, in the flight modes, and an orientation generally parallel to the fuselage, in the storage mode. First and second pylon assemblies are positioned proximate outboard ends of the wing. First and second mast assemblies are respectively rotatable relative to the first and second pylon assemblies and have generally vertical orientations, in the VTOL flight mode, and generally horizontal orientations, in the forward flight mode and the storage mode. First and second proprotor assemblies are respectively rotatable relative to the first and second mast assemblies. Each proprotor assembly includes a plurality of rotor blades and has a radially extended orientation, in the flight modes, and a stowed orientation, in the storage mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2018
    Assignee: Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.
    Inventor: Christopher Edward Foskey
  • Patent number: 10046853
    Abstract: An aircraft includes at least one propulsion engine, coupled to a fuselage, and configured to provide forward thrust to propel the aircraft along a first vector during forward flight. Each of at least two of multiple rotors coupled to the fuselage is coupled to a motor configured to supply power to that rotor and/or to draw power from that rotor. At least two of the rotors are configured to operate during forward flight to provide at least some lift to the aircraft along a second vector. A flight control system is configured to control the rotors that are configured to operate during forward flight in a power managed regime in which a net electrical power, consisting of the sum of the power being supplied to or drawn from each rotor by its motor, is maintained within a range determined by a feedback control system of the flight control system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2018
    Assignee: AERGILITY LLC
    Inventor: James E. Vander Mey
  • Patent number: 10011351
    Abstract: In some embodiments, a passenger pod assembly transportation system includes a transportation services provider computing system and a plurality of flying frame flight control systems, wherein the system is configured to receive, at the transportation services provider computing system, a request for transportation of a passenger pod assembly having a current location and a destination; upload a flight plan to a flight control system of a flying frame including an airframe and a propulsion system; dispatch the flying frame to the current location of the passenger pod assembly; couple the flying frame to the passenger pod assembly at the current location of the passenger pod assembly; transport the passenger pod assembly by air from the current location of the passenger pod assembly to the destination of the passenger pod assembly; and decouple the passenger pod assembly from the flying frame at the destination of the passenger pod assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2018
    Assignee: Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.
    Inventors: John Richard McCullough, Paul K. Oldroyd
  • Patent number: 9997979
    Abstract: A magnetic kinetic propulsion motor apparatus and method includes a shaft with a first two ended rotational blade attached at a midpoint of the two ended rotational blade to the shaft. A proximity magnetic sensor is connected at both ends of the two ended rotational blade. A stationary housing surrounds the shaft and the first two ended rotational blade. Several self-aligning repulsion electro-magnets are connected to the stationary housing and a proximity switch is connected with each of the self-aligning repulsion electro-magnets. An electronic ignition distributor is connected to each proximity switch connected with the self-aligning repulsion electro-magnets and a battery is connected to the electronic ignition distributor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2018
    Inventors: Roy Lee Garrison, Charles Paul McNemar
  • Patent number: 9950788
    Abstract: A lift fan for use in short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft is disclosed and claimed. The lift fan is driven by bleed air from a main engine of the aircraft and may be controlled by an electromagnet. This eliminates the drag and torque on the main engine and reduces fuel cost and engine wear.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2018
    Assignee: Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation
    Inventors: Ruben Garcia, Neil Echon
  • Patent number: 9889924
    Abstract: Multi-directional control using upper surface blowing systems is described herein. One disclosed example method includes a flow director of an aircraft, where the flow director is to cause an exhaust stream of an upper surface blowing system to attach to a fuselage of the aircraft, and a controller to control the flow director to affect one or more of a pitch, a yaw or a roll of the aircraft by varying a degree of the attachment of the exhaust stream to the fuselage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2018
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Neal A. Harrison, David C. Hyde
  • Patent number: 9884674
    Abstract: An aircraft includes a tail extending from a fuselage. The tail defines a structural box having first and second vertical stabilizers that support a horizontal stabilizer. The tail includes at least one sacrificial control surface and at least one primary control surface. The primary control surfaces maintain aircraft controllability in the event that the sacrificial control surface becomes inoperable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2018
    Assignee: United Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Gabriel L. Suciu, Jesse M. Chandler
  • Patent number: 9874176
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus to vary reverse thrust of turbofans are disclosed. An example cascade apparatus disclosed herein includes a fixed frame having a plurality of fixed vanes coupled to the frame, where each of the fixed vanes defines a plurality of slots. A plurality of movable vanes intersects the fixed vanes to form a reverse thrust flow path and slidably coupled to the fixed vanes via the slots. The movable vanes slide relative to the fixed vanes between a first position to provide a first reverse thrust and a second position to provide a second reverse thrust different from the first reverse thrust.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 23, 2018
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Omid B. Nakhjavani
  • Patent number: 9856018
    Abstract: Example doors for ducted fan inlet openings are disclosed herein. An example apparatus disclosed herein includes a door and a duct of a ducted fan unit extending through a body of an aircraft. The duct of the example apparatus defines a passageway between a first opening in a first side of the body and a second opening in a second side of the body opposite the first side. The example apparatus also includes an actuation system to move the door between a first position in which the door is disposed over the first opening and a second position in which the door is disposed over the first side of the body and outside of a diameter of the first opening. In the example apparatus, the door is orientated generally parallel to the first side of the body throughout movement of the door between the first position and the second position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2018
    Assignee: THE BOEING COMPANY
    Inventors: Carl King, Glenn Thomas Pyle
  • Patent number: 9828110
    Abstract: An electrical energy generator system for an aircraft, the system including a streamlined fairing containing at least one turbine housed in the front portion of the fairing, and an electrical energy generator connected to said turbine. The front portion of the fairing is fitted with air admission means that are movable between an open position in which the turbine is exposed to the stream of air outside the fairing and a closed position in which the turbine is masked inside the fairing. The system may serve to reduce the aerodynamic drag caused by turbulence present at a wing tip for a conventional wing having sharp edges during stages of takeoff, climbing, and cruising; and during stages of descent it makes it possible to recover the kinetic and potential energy that has been accumulated by the aircraft during its stages of climbing and cruising.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: Labinal Power Systems
    Inventor: Serge Roques
  • Patent number: 9771162
    Abstract: An unmanned aerial vehicle (“UAV”) is configured with a redundant power generation system on-board the UAV. A redundant power system on-board the UAV can selectively utilize an auxiliary power source during operation and/or flight of the UAV. The power system on-board the UAV may include a battery and at least one auxiliary power source comprising a combustion engine. The combustion engine on-board the UAV may be selectively operated to charge the battery when a charge level of the battery is below a full charge level, and/or to power one or more propeller motors of the UAV.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2017
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Nicholas Kristofer Gentry
  • Patent number: 9719424
    Abstract: The invention relates to a flow guiding system for a turbo engine, in particular an aircraft engine, characterized by an air intake device taking a thermal management air stream from a free flowing air stream during the operation of the turbo engine and at least one flow guiding means for guiding the thermal management air stream to at least one target region to be thermally managed in the turbo engine. The invention also relates to a turbo engine with a flow guiding system and a method for manufacturing a flow guiding system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2017
    Assignee: ROLLS-ROYCE DEUTSCHLAND LTD & CO KG
    Inventor: Luis Daniel Teia Dos Santos Mendes Gomes
  • Patent number: 9709993
    Abstract: A wide area sensor system includes an unmanned airplane being switchable between an airplane mode for high speed flight and a VTOL mode for low speed flight, a state detection sensor provided in the unmanned airplane, the state detection sensor being driven to detect a state of a detection target, and an external control apparatus that controls flight of the unmanned airplane and driving of the state detection sensor. The external control apparatus performs high speed sensing by driving the state detection sensor while performing the high speed flight of the unmanned airplane in the airplane mode. The control apparatus performs low speed sensing by driving the state detection sensor while performing the low speed flight of the unmanned airplane in the VTOL mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2017
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha TOPCON
    Inventor: Atsushi Tanahashi
  • Patent number: 9623954
    Abstract: The present invention is a variable geometry lighter-than-air (LTA) aircraft that is adapted to morph its shape from a symmetric cross-section buoyant craft to an asymmetric lifting body and even to a symmetric zero lift configuration. The basic structure is a semi rigid airship with movable longerons. Movement of the longerons adjusts the camber of the upper and/or lower surfaces to achieve varying shapes of the lifting-body. This transformation changes both the lift and drag characteristics of the craft to alter the flight characteristics. The transformation may be accomplished while the craft is airborne and does not require any ground support equipment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2017
    Assignee: Hyalta Aeronautices, Inc.
    Inventor: Scott R. Kempshall
  • Patent number: 9096314
    Abstract: An electric and hybrid Vertical-Take Off and Landing (“VTOL”) aircraft is disclosed comprising a plurality of small Electric Ducted Fans (“EDFs”) of various sizes and orientations. The thrust of each fixed EDF is individually controlled by modulation of motor power by one or more onboard microcomputers connected to a plurality of onboard laser distance measuring sensors, at least three onboard three-axis accelerometers and at least one GPS thereby allowing extremely precise and safe VTOL operation. The aircraft may be employed to allow robotic and passenger vehicles to transition extremely quickly between normal linear flight and VTOL and to operate in extreme and gusty conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2015
    Assignee: Geola Technologies, Ltd.
    Inventors: David Brotherton-Ratcliffe, Jerzy Lelusz
  • Patent number: 8915464
    Abstract: An aircraft (1) comprising a fuselage (2), a rotary wing (10) having two contrarotating main rotors (12) arranged in tandem above the fuselage (2), at least one propulsion member (20), and a power plant (30). Each propulsion member (20) is carried by a rear portion (3) of the fuselage. The aircraft (1) includes an interconnection system (40) providing a permanent connection between the power plant (30) and the rotary wing (10), except in the event of a failure or during training, the aircraft (1) having differential control means (50) for controlling the cyclic pitch of the blades of the main rotors (12) to control the aircraft (1) in yaw, and inhibition means (60) for inhibiting each propulsion member (20).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Assignee: Airbus Helicopters
    Inventors: Jean-Jacques Ferrier, Paul Eglin
  • Patent number: 8827204
    Abstract: An aircraft includes a powerplant system operable to power a main rotor system and a secondary thrust system, the secondary thrust system is selectively driven through operation of a clutch system, and a clutch system synchronization time corresponds to a response time of the powerplant system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2014
    Assignee: Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation
    Inventors: Charles E. Long, Dean A. Norem, Raymond N. Weyl, Ricky D. Reimers
  • Patent number: 8636246
    Abstract: A system and method to control flight of an aircraft. The aircraft having an engine with a rotatably nozzle assembly configured to create forward propulsion and yaw control of the aircraft. The engine exhaust passing through the nozzle is redirected with a valve disposed within the nozzle. Lift is created with a lift system carried by the wing of the aircraft. Additional lift is created during flight with a retractable wing extension disposed within the wing of the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2014
    Assignee: Textron Innovations Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel B. Robertson, Kirk L. Groninga
  • Patent number: 8636241
    Abstract: A fixed-wing VTOL aircraft features an array of electric lift fans distributed over the surface of the aircraft. A generator is (selectively) coupled to the gas turbine engine of the aircraft. During VTOL operation of the aircraft, the engine drives the generator to generate electricity to power the lifting fans. Power to the lifting fans is reduced as the aircraft gains forward speed and is increasingly supported by the wings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2014
    Inventors: Richard H. Lugg, Harold Youngren
  • Patent number: 8622335
    Abstract: A vehicle including a fuselage having a longitudinal axis and a transverse axis, two Ducted Fan lift-producing propellers carried by the fuselage on each side of the transverse axis, a pilot's compartment formed in the fuselage between the lift-producing propellers and substantially aligned with one side of the fuselage, a payload bay formed in the fuselage between the lift-producing propellers and opposite the pilot's compartment, and two pusher fans located at the rear of the vehicle. Many variations are described enabling the vehicle to be used not only as a VTOL vehicle, but also as a multi-function utility vehicle for performing many diverse functions including hovercraft and ATV functions. Also described is an Unmanned version of the vehicle. Also described are unique features applicable in any single or multiple ducted fans and VTOL vehicles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2014
    Assignee: Urban Aeronautics, Ltd.
    Inventor: Raphael Yoeli
  • Patent number: 8540184
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an aircraft (1) comprising an airframe (2) provided with a fuselage (10) and fixed wings (20), a rotary wing (30), at least two propellers (41, 42), and a power plant suitable for driving said rotary wing (30) and said propellers (41, 42) into rotation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 24, 2013
    Assignee: Eurocopter
    Inventor: Bernard Gemmati
  • Patent number: 8473123
    Abstract: In exemplary embodiments of this invention, a programmable surface comprises an array of cells. Each of the cells can communicate electronically with adjacent cells in the array, can compute, and can generate either normal thrust or shear thrust. Distributed computing is employed. The programmable surface may cover all or part of the exterior of a craft, such as an aircraft or marine vessel. Or, instead, the programmable surface may comprise the craft itself, which may, for example, take the form of a “flying carpet” or “flying sphere”. The thrust generated by the programmable surface can be employed directly to provide lift. Or it can be used to control the orientation of the craft, by varying the relative amount of thrust outputted by the respective cells. The number of cells employed may be changed on a mission-by-mission basis, to achieve “span on demand”. Each cell may carry its own payload.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2013
    Assignee: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Amy Sun, Neil Gershenfeld
  • Patent number: 8469308
    Abstract: A system and method to control flight of an aircraft. The aircraft having an engine with a rotatably nozzle assembly configured to create forward propulsion and yaw control of the aircraft. The engine exhaust passing through the nozzle is redirected with a valve disposed within the nozzle. Lift is created with a lift system carried by the wing of the aircraft. Additional lift is created during flight with a retractable wing extension disposed within the wing of the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2013
    Assignee: Textron Innovations Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel B. Robertson, Kirk L. Groninga
  • Patent number: 8403255
    Abstract: A compound aircraft features variable incidence wings, a thruster, a rotor and a clutch connecting the engines to the rotor. Upon reaching a suitable forward speed, the control system of the compound aircraft unloads the rotor and disengages the clutch, disconnecting the rotor from the engines. The control system configures the cyclic and collective pitch effectors to cause the rotor to autorotate. The control system selects an autorotation rotational speed that is adequately rapid to prevent excessive deformation of the rotor blades due to aerodynamic forces acting on the blade and that is adequately slow to prevent excessive compressibility effects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2013
    Inventor: Frederick W. Piasecki
  • Publication number: 20130062455
    Abstract: A fixed-wing VTOL aircraft features an array of electric lift fans distributed over the surface of the aircraft. A generator is (selectively) coupled to the gas turbine engine of the aircraft. During VTOL operation of the aircraft, the engine drives the generator to generate electricity to power the lifting fans. Power to the lifting fans is reduced as the aircraft gains forward speed and is increasingly supported by the wings.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 20, 2006
    Publication date: March 14, 2013
    Inventors: Richard H. Lugg, Harold Youngren
  • Patent number: 8376263
    Abstract: A roadable aircraft and an associated method are disclosed herein. The roadable aircraft includes a body extending along a longitudinal axis and operable to house a human occupant. The roadable aircraft also includes at least first and second wings each being selectively moveable relative to the body between a retracted position for stowing and an extended position for flight. Each of the first and second wings extend a wing cord along the longitudinal axis when in the extended position between a leading edge and a wing trailing-edge vectoring nozzle. The roadable aircraft also includes a system for directing first and second streams of air through the first and second wings, respectively, and out of the first and second wing trailing-edge vectoring nozzles such that thrust for the body is generated. In addition, embodiments of the invention can include a plurality of deployable, vectoring lift fans which are also capable of producing thrust.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2013
    Assignee: Rolls-Royce Corporation
    Inventor: David John Howard Eames
  • Patent number: 8336806
    Abstract: A flow path is disclosed that is capable of being deployed when needed and stowed in a relatively small space when not in use. The flow path device is flexible and may be made from a variety of materials. In an illustrative embodiment the flow path device is annular and transitions from an ellipsoidal annular shape to a quadrilateral annular shape. A vane box can be disposed at one end of the flow path device. Doors can be coupled to the vane box to cover the flow path device. The doors can be used to provide a structural load path for the flow path device and vane box. The doors and the flow path device can be moved together such that the doors uncover the flow path device as the device is deployed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2012
    Assignee: Rolls-Royce North American Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Douglas David Dierksmeier
  • Publication number: 20120234968
    Abstract: An aircraft may have a fuselage, a left wing extending from the fuselage, a right wing extending from the fuselage, a tail section extending from a rear portion of the fuselage, and a first engine and a second engine operably connected by a common driveshaft, wherein the first and second engines are configured for freewheeling such that if one of the first and second engines loses power the other of the first and second engines continues to power the aircraft.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 9, 2012
    Publication date: September 20, 2012
    Inventor: FRICK A. SMITH
  • Patent number: 8220737
    Abstract: An aircraft capable of vertical take-off and landing is provided. The aircraft includes a fuselage having a forward portion and an aft portion. A lift fan extends though a duct, which extends through the fuselage. The aircraft further includes a pair of wing sets where each set of wings include first and second wings. Each set of wings has a first wing with a first wing root interconnected to the fuselage forward of a central axis of the lift fan and a second wing having a second wing root interconnected to the fuselage aft of the central axis of the lift fan. The tips of each set of wings are connected. The aircraft further includes a pusher fan.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2012
    Assignee: Frontline Aerospace, Inc.
    Inventors: Ryan S. Wood, Darold B. Cummings, David W. Hall
  • Patent number: 8181903
    Abstract: Aircraft having two, preferably four or more, rotors (20) in wing hatches (10) which can be closed. The closure mechanism has, at the top, individually curved elements on a rollshutter (scroll/roller blind) (40) and, at the bottom, a set of longitudinal fins (30). One or more propeller/impeller drives are firmly connected to the stabilator (60), which can be pivoted over a wide extent. In hovering flight, the wing hatches (10) are opened and the impeller drives (60), together with the stabilator, are pivoted largely vertically downwards. During the transition to cruise flight, the large flaperons (100) are lowered, and the propeller/impeller drives (60), together with the stabilator, are slowly pivoted to the horizontal. When the forward speed is sufficient, the wing hatches (10) are closed, the rotors (20) are stopped, and the flaperons (100) are raised somewhat again. The pilot has unobstructed visibility through the gap between the wingtips (70).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2012
    Inventor: David Posva
  • Publication number: 20120119016
    Abstract: The invention is a modular vehicle having an air vehicle that can be coupled to cargo containers, land vehicles, sea vehicles, medical transport modules, etc. In one embodiment the air vehicle has a plurality of propellers positioned around a main airframe, which can provide vertical thrust and/or horizontal thrust. The propellers are mounted on supports which have an airfoil shape to generate additional lift. One or more of the propellers may be configured to tilt forward, backward, and/or side-to-side with respect to the airframe.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 10, 2011
    Publication date: May 17, 2012
    Inventor: Donald Orval Shaw
  • Patent number: 8128019
    Abstract: A propulsion system for a vertical take-off and landing ducted fan aerial vehicle is provided, the propulsion system comprising an internal combustion engine, an electric motor that comprises a motor generator, a motor drive and a battery. The motor drive and battery are integrated into the aerial vehicle and provide power to the ducted fan aerial vehicle. The electric motor may comprise a ring motor generator. In operation, this dual propulsion system serves as a weight-efficient option to allow for two sources of power on a ducted fan unmanned aerial vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2012
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Richard E. Annati, Patrick L. O'Brien
  • Publication number: 20110284683
    Abstract: An amphibious large aircraft without airstairs is provided. The fuselage (7) of the amphibious large aircraft is flat, and the shape of its bottom is rectangular. The longitudinal cross-section of the fuselage has a shape of the cross-section of a win, so the lift can be generated by the fuselage during flight, and the flight efficiency is increased by 30-40%. The fuselage has only one floor, wherein the passenger cabin (6) is set in the front of the fuselage, and the cargo hold (21) is mounted above the rear. The wings (8) are suspended towards two sides from upper side of the fuselage. A jet engine (30) is mounted above the rear of the fuselage and adjacent to the tail wing. Because landing gears (4, 9) can be lifted vertically and the landing gear wells (3, 10) mounted in the fuselage are provided with fore-and-aft sliding doors (32, 33), the fuselage can stop close to the ground.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 1, 2010
    Publication date: November 24, 2011
    Inventor: Shiying Liu
  • Patent number: 8056866
    Abstract: An augmented kinesthetic control system for use with a lift platform, the lift platform comprising first and second longitudinally-spaced thrust generating means, is provided. The first and second lift planes defined by the first and second thrust generating means are positioned below the lift platform center of gravity. The kinesthetic control means are coupled to means for aerodynamically altering the air flow from the first and second thrust generating means such that the intuitive and balancing movements of the pilot are magnified to allow kinesthetic control of a vehicle of greater size and utility.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2011
    Assignee: Aerofex, Inc.
    Inventor: Mark Stephen De Roche
  • Publication number: 20110168834
    Abstract: A vehicle including a fuselage having a longitudinal axis and a transverse axis, two Ducted Fan lift-producing propellers carried by the fuselage on each side of the transverse axis, a pilot's compartment formed in the fuselage between the lift-producing propellers and substantially aligned with one side of the fuselage, a payload bay formed in the fuselage between the lift-producing propellers and opposite the pilot's compartment, and two pusher fans located at the rear of the vehicle. Many variations are described enabling the vehicle to be used not only as a VTOL vehicle, but also as a multi-function utility vehicle for performing many diverse functions including hovercraft and ATV functions. Also described is an Unmanned version of the vehicle. Also described are unique features applicable in any single or multiple ducted fans and VTOL vehicles.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 3, 2010
    Publication date: July 14, 2011
    Applicant: Urban Aeronautics Ltd.
    Inventor: Raphael YOELI
  • Patent number: 7857253
    Abstract: A vehicle including a fuselage having a longitudinal axis and a transverse axis, two Ducted Fan lift-producing propellers carried by the fuselage on each side of the transverse axis, a pilot's compartment formed in the fuselage between the lift-producing propellers and substantially aligned with one side of the fuselage, a payload bay formed in the fuselage between the lift-producing propellers and opposite the pilot's compartment, and two pusher fans located at the rear of the vehicle. Many variations are described enabling the vehicle to be used not only as a VTOL vehicle, but also as a multi-function utility vehicle for performing many diverse functions including hovercraft and ATV functions. Also described is an Unmanned version of the vehicle. Also described are unique features applicable in any single or multiple ducted fans and VTOL vehicles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 28, 2010
    Assignee: Urban Aeronautics Ltd.
    Inventor: Raphael Yoeli
  • Publication number: 20100224721
    Abstract: A vertical take off and landing (VTOL) aircraft, which may be a UAV aircraft, is disclosed. The VTOL is capable of vertical takeoff and landing, hovering and traveling of slow speeds. In addition the VTOL permits high-speed forward flight that allows for increasing the range of the aircraft.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 8, 2009
    Publication date: September 9, 2010
    Applicant: FRONTLINE AEROSPACE, INC.
    Inventors: RYAN S. WOOD, Darold B. Cummings, David W. Hall